[emphasized type=”emphasized”]Through months of planning (and procrastination), we finally decided to pull our socks up, trade in our winter coat for a short-sleeve shirt, and sore high above the masses who were left in Melbourne to endure the brutal winter that was.[/emphasized]
A business class ticket on an Emirates A380 in hand, we jetted halfway across the globe on a tailored expedition: our first stop, London….
24 hours in the air, between security check points and Emirates business-class lounges (not a bad way to travel), we arrived at the Portobello Hotel. Thanks to our trusty
friend ‘jet lag’, we were able to hit the ground running early, visiting the quaint town Notting Hill.
In true Melbourne style, our search for a decent coffee was first on the list. With that, we found Granger & Co. Owned by acclaimed Australian Chef/Entrepreneur Bill Granger, Granger & Co in Notting Hill is one of London’s ‘IT’ cafes and it didn’t let us down. We were told that the photo above is apparently quite rare, due to the fact that getting a table at Granger & Co can be quite the arduous task. On a typical day, you can expect to wait 2 hours for a table!
As our first day progressed, we grew a little tired and a little weary. However, there was still plenty of ground to cover. We are very fortunate to have partnered with leading Australian Menswear Aquila in showcasing their new Spring/Summer 16 range during our European escape. Lucky for us, being situated in Notting Hill meant every street was a photographer’s dream. With pristine white buildings, expensive cars on every corner, gorgeous architecture; it was simply a stunning little suburb.
Slowly adjusting to the time difference, our day started, once more, with a quick takeaway latté from Granger & Co and it was straight in a cab to visit menswear royalty on Savile Row. An inspiration for fashion designers, bloggers and enthusiasts alike, Savile Row provides an aura of pure inspiration. With designers such as Alexander McQueen, Gieves & Hawkes and Huntsman all having once presided on Savile Row, the trip is well worth the visit as you will definitely be left feeling amazed and inspired.
Feeling somewhat underdressed scaling the streets of Savile Row, we headed for an outfit change and a little downtime in Hyde Park. Feeling the London heat (high 20’s), we changed from a lightweight cotton blue stripe suit into something a little more casual.
As we began to settle into life in Notting Hill, we decided to take things a little slower on our third day. Skipping breakfast, we opted for a brunch/lunch at Cecconis Mayfair. A true London icon and a very ‘European’ location, we enjoyed a lovely meal whilst people watching metres away from the busy Regent Street shopping precinct (mayhem).
With what felt like one too many Arancini balls, we decided on getting a little tidy-up and pamper at Murdock’s London Soho. Served by Head Barber James, a true gentleman of London, we received a barber cut and traditional cut-throat shave. Our experience resembled that out of an episode of Peaky Blinders.
Today marked the halfway point of our London trip and also a change in scenery. From the picturesque streets of Notting Hill, we jumped ship to the opposite side of Thames and into the Shangri-La at The Shard. Well, what can we say about our room…breathtaking is one word that comes to mind. With a 180 degree view of London, it was fair to say we had the best view of London right from our hotel room window.
Taking a little time to enjoy our view, we cleaned up and headed for dinner at Chiltern Firehouse. Another London hotspot, this was definitely one of the coolest setups we have seen in quite some time. Think Soho, NYC mixed with an old Firehouse.
We came to our last day in the land of black pudding (you don’t even want to know what that is…). Before jetting off to our next stop, we just had a few last minute spots we wanted to get to. Monocle Store and Trunk Clothiers were some of the stores we just had to experience.
While it is no secret that we are massive foodies, we thought we might catch up with a good friend Timothy James to eat and drink our way through our last day in London. A stop at Polpo for some mouthwatering Italian antipasto in Soho left us dreaming of our Italian leg later in our European Escape.
It was sad to say goodbye to a city that we no doubt fell in love with. However, the excitement is building for our next destination; Paris! Stay tuned for more insights and to see how our trip to the city of love will be.
For first class flight deals to London head to our airline partner Emirates to book your ticket.
Photography by Marten Ascenzo
Clothing & Footwear by Aquila